Italia: Cinque Terre & Roma

Monday, April 11, 2011

Let's pick up where we left off...

Our what-we-thought-would-be-short train trip from Florence to Vernazza (Cinque Terre) was not uneventful.



The trip from Florence to Cinque Terre involves a train to Pisa, then Pisa to La Spezia, then a smaller train to the five towns of Cinque Terre and ultimately for us, Vernazza.

We didn't leave Florence until around 6 pm, since we did the Uffizi and Accademia that day. Made it to Pisa with an hour lag until the next train to La Spezia, but not enough time to see the Leaning Tower.

Unfortunately, when we got to La Spezia around 9:20 pm, we'd missed the train onto Vernazza by about 10 minutes. And the next one? Oh, it was at 11:10 pm. So I hunkered down to update our trip journal while Jonathan had a photo shoot.



There were lots of interesting characters in the La Spezia train station at 11 o'clock at night, and I wasn't sad when our little train finally came. And how long was the final leg of the trip via train, for which we waited almost 2 hours, you might ask? A MERE 20 MINUTES. Yep.

So, after checking into our room around midnight, and checking out before 10 a.m. the next day, we were ready to explore Vernazza for the day until leaving for Rome that afternoon.

Vernazza is one of five little towns built into the mountainside, facing the sea, on Italy's west coast.



500 people live in this town.



And, as I learned from our Rick Steves book the Burkes loaned us, there is a Commissioner of Good Taste who regulates the buildings' multi paint colors. {sounds like a fun job! or at least a fun title to have...}

Yes, this is real.





{the largest aloe plant I've ever seen... and, do you like my birthday-present leather jacket that Jonny got me in Firenze?}



{succulents and sedum just grow out of the walls...beautiful!}



At the top of Vernazza's castle.

SO, as I understand it, all five towns are connected with a hiking trail, which is supposedly breathtakingly beautiful and fun. This was not in the cards for this preggo and husband this time.

Instead, we took the train one town over to Corniglia, which is unfortunately ONLY accessible from the train station by a very long and very steep path...maybe something like 350 long steps I think I read? Whoops.

While waiting the hour until the next train back to Vernazza (a maybe 10 minute ride through the mountainside), we sat on a bench, enjoying the perfect weather and view of the sea.





I definitely want to go back to Cinque Terre for longer and when not pregnant.

Before I take you on to Roma, here's a chubby face/sort of belly-ish shot for those of you who've asked:



Mmm.

Okay, so that afternoon, onto Roma! It was about a 4.5 hour train ride, but the logistics went smoothly this time (...except for finding our hotel once we got there, but I'll spare you the details because we eventually did find it).

Pantheon at night, 5 mins from our hotel:



Never in my life could I say, "My eyes are looking at something that was built in 127 AD." Well in Rome, that would change!



Colosseum (truly colossal!)...and I love how that kid is looking straight at the phone camera.



Inside the Colosseum:



Mind-blowing.

And then...St. Peter's, Vatican City, from the top of the dome:







There really aren't words for this. It's completely overwhelming.



At the Vatican post office box:



My illegal phone pic of the Sistine Chapel {Probably the most impressive of all in all of Vatican City...I can't believe that took Michelangelo only 4 years--seems so short--and he didn't lie on his back to paint! ouch}



Mente (mint) gelato on the way back to the hotel, in front of St. Peter's:



That about sums up our adventure!

If you'd like to know more about international travel while 20ish weeks pregnant, email me. For now, I'll just say it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be (at least for me). And I won't post a photo of my feet after the flight home, but let's just say I've never seen them look like that before (so swollen!).

After a looooooooong flight back (on which we each had our own freak-out moment, mine involving a convinced fear that the baby was taking all of my oxygen), we made it home to our kitty!

What a way to celebrate five years of marriage and the upcoming arrival of our little baby girl! Ciao!

8 comments:

  1. by golly I can't wait to be here with T! So glad you and J got to spend such fun times in Italia. I'll eat some gelato for you in a few weeks, and maybe bring back something else for my little Jules.

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  2. Great travel wardrobe! Two thumbs up for the sweet pics.

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  3. Molly hiked the Cinque Terre trail. Absolutely loved it--made me want to go. Your pictures are great; so glad you got to celebrate in such a special way.

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  4. Oh, you brought back some delightful memories for me! Vernazza is in the running for my favorite place on the planet. And I'm glad I'm not the only tourist with a contraband photo of the Sistine ceiling...I swear I took it before I saw the "No Photos" sign! (And LOVE the new leather jacket...my kind of souvenier!)

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  5. Hmmm....Rome at 20 weeks pregnant, or Rome with 3 kids ages 8 & under (and in-laws, which is a whole other story). We should compare notes. Love the photos...especially at the top of St. Peter's. And I agree; it is all completely overwhelming. Nothing is old in the USA.

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  6. amazing pictures,oh what I would give to see what you saw! Maybe in a few years.

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